Hail, Holy Queen

In honor of today’s celebration of the Queenship of Mary, here’s a how-to for my favorite variation of the Rosary:  the Franciscan Crown.

It’s got that name because, according to legend, the Blessed Mother asked an aspiring Franciscan friar to weave her a crown of prayers.

The Franciscan Crown is a 7-decade Rosary.  If you don’t have a 7-decade set, use your regular Rosary and just backtrack a bit.  Unlike the regular Rosary, you start at the medal and end at the cross.

For each decade, pray 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys and 1 Gloria.

Here are the meditations for each decade:

  1. The first Joy in the Crown of Mary is the joy of Our Lady at the Annunciation.  “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to Your word.”  May I become your humble servant, Lord.
  2. The second Joy in the Crown of Mary is the joy of Our Lady at the Visitation.  “Rising up, Mary went into the hill country and saluted her cousin Elizabeth.  Grant us true love of neighbor, Lord.
  3. The third Joy in the Crown of Mary is the joy of Our Lady at the Birth of Jesus and the Adoration of the Magi.  “She brought forth her first-born son…and laid him in a manger.”  Give us true poverty of spirit, Lord.
  4. The fourth Joy in the Crown of Mary is the joy of Our Lady at the Presentation and Purification.  “They carried him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord…as it is written in the law of the Lord.”  Help me obey all just laws.
  5. The fifth Joy in the Crown of Mary is the joy of Our Lady at the Finding of Jesus in the Temple.  “Not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem seeking him.”  May I never lose you through serious sin, Lord.
  6. The sixth Joy in the Crown of Mary is the joy of Our Lady at the Resurrection of Jesus.  “The Lord is not here; He is risen.”  May we share your glory, Lord.
  7. The seventh Joy in the Crown of Mary is the joy of Our Lady at her Assumption into Heaven and her Coronation.  “A woman clothed with the sun; upon her head a crown of twelve stars.”  Mary, may we share your crown of eternal life.
After you have prayed the seven decades, pray two more Hail Marys to make a total of 72–honoring the 72 years of Mary’s life (according to legend).  Then, for the intentions of the Holy Father, pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Gloria.
Friar Charles has some more details on the Franciscan Crown.  You don’t have to be a Franciscan to pray this beautiful devotion.  Join me today, in honor of the Queenship of Mary.
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